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Video projectors are definitely becoming a more affordable home theater option — really large screen sizes without all that glass — and for 3D, a video projector is really the best way to do.
However, a great video projection viewing experience entails more than just buying the right projector, you also need to have the right screen. In our article, Before You Buy a Video Projection Screen, we outline the basics of what to looking for when selecting a screen. To complement that article, the following list presents some purchase options to consider for several types of video projector setups.
If you are looking for a conveniently portable video projection screen, the Epson Duet ELPSC80 may be just the ticket. First off the EPSELPSC80 comes with both a sturdy removable tripod and wall mounting hardware, so you have installation flexibility.
Also, unlike most screens that need to be pulled down or up, the ELPSC80 opens from the center outward and can be set for a 60-inch 4x3 aspect ratio or an 80-inch 16x9 aspect ratio. When you open the screen there are clicks to tell you when you reach the desired aspect ratio.
The ELPSC80 is a very affordable portable video projection screen solution for the living room, office, or even outdoors on a warm summer night.
Photo from Amazon
If you are looking for a screen that is large but can still be packed-up and moved around easily, check out the ezCinema F120NWH from Elite Screens.
Whether indoors or outdoors, the ezCinema series screens retract easily into its floor stand which is also the aluminum casing (built-in carrying handle included). This allows it to be carried to another room, or loaded into a vehicle and transported to other locations without exposing the actual screen material to the elements.
The ezCinema series comes in several sizes, but the one featured here is the F120NWH, which features a 120-inch diagonal screen surface (16x9 aspect ratio).
The F120NWH also has a respectable 1.1 gain rating.
If you are looking for a more sophisticated, and large, projection screen, check out the Monoprice Model 6582.
The 6582 is designed for "permanent" home theater video projector setups. This screen incorporates motorized operation (comes with a remote control), so once you mount it (either from a ceiling or on a wall), it is easy to lower and raise without physical effort.
However, in addition to operational convenience, the screen has four-layer fabric construction, which composed of PVC and fiberglass layers for both sturdiness (including minimal stretching issues) and provides 1.0 gain, which means no reflected light loss.
Video projection screen gain specifications are based on light reflection comparison with a standard magnesium oxide surface whiteboard.
The Monoprice Model 6582 comes with a 16x9 aspect ratio and has a diagonal size of 106 inches.
Although most screens are designed to raised, lowered, or open from the center out, another screen type available is Fixed Frame.
Think of a very large picture frame or large screen flat panel TV and you have the idea. A fixed frame screen consists of fabric with solid frame edges and is designed to be mounted on a wall.
In the case of the Monoprice 7962, the screen has a 16x9 aspect ratio and is 106-inches inches from corner to the opposite corner.
The fabric construction is the same as the above listed 6582, which features four alternating layers of PVC and fiberglass. However, the screen gain is a little less at .8. This means that 80% of the light that hits the screen from the projector is reflected back into the viewing area.
The outer frame of the screen is composed of black aluminum, covered in black velvet (prevents on wanted light reflections off of the frame).
The 7962 also comes included with all the needed wall mounting hardware.
One home entertainment activity that is getting more popular, mostly in the Summertime, is Backyard or Outdoor Home Theater.
As a result, there have been more video projection screens made for outdoor use. However, many of these screens are cumbersome to set up, take down, and store, and the inflatable ones take up a lot of real-estate when fully inflated.
To address these problems, Elite Screens offers up their Yard Master 2 Series Outdoor Screens, which are easy to set up and repack as needed.
The Yard Master screens feature durable material that combines the sturdiness needed for outdoor use with the ability reflect accurate color and brightness, whether viewing head-on or an angle (DynaWhite 1.1 gain for front projector use; WraithVeil 2.2 gain for rear projector use). Also, all tools and accessories are provided for setup and keeping the screens wind stable. The screens are also very affordable.
The example featured in this entry is the OMS120H2, which has a 120-inch screen size. However, if you click on the Amazon link, you will see several other sizes offered.
Each screen comes packaged with a single-piece aluminum frame with detachable legs, screen material, carrying bag, ground stakes, rigging cord, and support rings.
One screen solution for setting up an outdoor home theater or gaming experience is to make use of an inflatable screen. Just like traditional screens, inflatables come in a variety of sizes and prices, but one inexpensive option is the Gemmy Airblown Model 39121-32.
The Gemmy 39121-32, when blown up, features a 120-inch 16x9 screen that provides a really big viewing area.
The screen comes in a carrying bag and self-inflates using AC powered fans when unpacked. Also, additional required tethers and stakes are provided for proper anchoring and stability.
Due to the size of the screen and the required use of tethers and stakes, you need to make sure you have a backyard with sufficient space for setup.
If you are looking for a video projection screen that is a cut above the rest, then consider a Black Diamond Screen from Screen Innovations.
The first thing that makes the Black Diamond Screen different is that the screen surface is black, instead of white.
The black surface, combined with additional materials, enables Black Diamond Screens to reject up to 85% of ambient light, which means that you can get get a satisfying video projector viewing experience in rooms that have light control issues, and even in some daylight conditions. Think of getting a video projector viewing experience comparable to the brightness levels of a flat panel TV, only a lot larger.
Black Diamond Screens can only be purchased through authorized dealers, which include Best Buy/Magnolia Stores.
Although having a screen is the best option for a video projector setup, there is another option: Screen Paint.
In other words, if you have a large wall surface with a smooth surface texture, you can actually paint a screen on it. However, this is a labor-intensive process (more precise than typical wall painting), but if you are game paint a screen can be a fun project for the whole family.
One product that is available, is Digital Image Ultra White High Definition Screen Paint. With the one-gallon size, it is possible to paint a 16x10 foot screen. The application can be done by spray or roll-on techniques.
However, keep in mind that it might also be a good idea to frame the screen edges with non-reflective black paint or non-reflective black wood, plastic, or metal.